Gain vs Gap - Euros and Worlds 2021
Mixed feelings for me after the two most important events of last season. At the Euros in October, I managed to secure my first ever senior gold fleet. It's been a long time coming. I'd made some really good strides in my upwind boat speed this year and it has started to pay off at major events. When digesting these events afterward and deciding if I'm on track for where I want to be it's also really important to look backward and see where I’ve come from.
Obviously, I want to be winning these events eventually, and I don't want to take too long to get there either. But I should be pleased with my progress as well. The Worlds in 2020 I finished 97th and this year's worlds I was 78th. That's an improvement even though I felt that I let myself down at the Worlds this year after narrowly missing out on gold fleet.
The Europeans this year, I finished up 48th which was a significant improvement from the last Senior Europeans I did a few years ago well outside the top 100. Since finishing University and being able to pour more effort into my sailing I have found my improvement much steadier and at a steeper gradient. It does make sense, the more you do something and the more purposeful hours you can accumulate the better you will get.
If I am completely honest with myself when I look back at my progress over the time when I was at University I think there were points where I went backward. I know at times this has to be expected, as you break something down to try and build on it. But being more purposeful with my practice would have led to quicker comebacks.
I remember at times it felt like I was forcing myself to get out of bed hours before my first lecture and go and train in the freezing rain on my own. In times like this I wouldn’t push myself out on the water and the result was - I was practicing not pushing myself. Spending weeks training badly to then go to an event and expect to perform completely differently is quite a tall ask. But I wasn’t focusing on what small difference I can make to be better than I was last training session. Anyway, I’ll try and keep it light, having more time now to be very focused and structured with my training feels sooo good.
What am I actually rambling on about? I think while pitching yourself against where you want to be - the gap, gives you direction and sometimes focus, where you have come from - the gain is far more important. Seeing yourself improve and develop from where you were yesterday is where the real motivation comes from. Focus on that and the gap will take care of itself.
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